Dec 18, 2012 5:30pm PST
to learn that our friend, veteran reporter richard engel is free and safe. he was held captive for five days in syria, and highlights the danger in the shadows there. as the rebels and the terrorists and president assad wrestles for power, i want to bring in abc's foreign affairs correspondent martha raddatz. >> reporter: good evening match truly terrifying ordeal for richard engel and his crew. they were ambushed by more than a dozen heavily armed men, believed to be loyalists to assad's government. one of the rebels they were with was executed on the spot in front of them. they were blindfolded, hands bound and threatened with death. he talked about it after he was freed this morning. >> they made us choose who would be shot first. and when we refused there were mock shootings. they pretended to shoot gazi several times. >> reporter: gazi is one of the crew. they escaped with the help of rebels at a check point after a fire fight where two of the kidnappers were killed. there is still a young american freelance journalist, austin tice, who has been held hostage since august in syria.
Dec 19, 2012 1:00am PST
when we saw it. it's nbc's chief foreign correspondent richard engel, looking a little disheveled, a little less groomed than usual, but as you can see, looking like himself. on the left this is ghazi balkiz and john klooister, a long-time nbc news photographer. these three men were able to appear live on the "today" show, fife days after being kidnapped and held in captivity in syria. just hours before this shot of them this morning, they were freed by a syrian rebel group who rescued them from an unknown group that had taken them and that had held them for five, long, horrible days. the rebel group not only rescued these three, they then took responsibility for driving them to the border and getting them safely out of syria. they were in syria in the first place to cover the war there. this is footage of richard's last piece for nbc news before the kidnapping happened. richard and his team are veterans in this field. they've been working together for a decade in just about every corner of the world you can imagine, including long stints covering the war in iraq. also the war in
Dec 19, 2012 3:00am PST
of this -- >> richard engel is on his way home with our team. it is a great relief to all of us obviously. in the e-mail he describes as he has on the air already what they've been through. big news is we couldn't talk about this. but when they got to the checkpoint, a firefight broke out and they got out of the back of the minivan. they got separated from one of their security guys that had been with them. they called pilgrims, former british sas guys, the best special forces in the world. he ran off in another direction barefoot. we've been worried about him. i keep saying he's sas. showed up at the turkish border today. he's okay. as richard says, six in, six out. thank god. >> fantastic! >> thank god. >> the new issue "gq" featuring bill murray is now on newsstands. >>> we'll be right back with much more "morning joe." [ male announcer ] you are a business pro. executor of efficiency. you can spot an amateur from a mile away... while going shoeless and metal-free in seconds. and you...rent from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle...and go. you can even take a fu